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Circ Res. 1990 Nov;67(5):1247-56.

Forskolin stimulates prostaglandin synthesis in rabbit heart by a mechanism that requires calcium and is independent of cyclic AMP.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis 38163.


Infusion of forskolin, an adenylate cyclase activator, in concentrations (2 microM) that do not alter basal prostaglandin (PG) synthesis inhibit synthesis of PG elicited by isoproterenol in rabbit heart. This inhibitory action of forskolin appears to be dependent on cyclic AMP (cAMP). Bolus injection of forskolin (75 nmol), however, was found to stimulate PG synthesis in rabbit heart. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanism of the stimulatory action of forskolin on PG synthesis (prostaglandin I2 measured as 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha [6-keto-PGF1 alpha]) in isolated perfused rabbit heart. Forskolin enhanced PG production in a dose-dependent manner. 1,9-Dideoxyforskolin, a forskolin analogue devoid of adenylate cyclase-stimulating activity, also enhanced PG synthesis. The cAMP analogue chlorophenylthio-cAMP failed to stimulate output of 6-keto-PGF1 alpha, although this agent produced dose-related changes in mechanical function in rabbit heart. Furthermore, the adenylate cyclase inhibitor (-)-N6-(R-phenylisopropyl)adenosine potentiated, whereas the phosphodiesterase inhibitor cilostamide attenuated, forskolin-stimulated PG production. (-)-N6-(R-Phenylisopropyl)adenosine and cilostamide had no effect on the mechanical actions of chlorophenylthio-cAMP, suggesting selectivity of these agents for adenylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase, respectively. 6-Keto-PGF1 alpha output elicited by forskolin was abolished by reduction of calcium in the perfusion fluid as well as by the calcium channel blocker diltiazem. The intracellular calcium antagonists TMB-8 and ryanodine also abolished forskolin-stimulated PG synthesis in rabbit heart. PG synthesis stimulated by 1,9-dideoxyforskolin was also prevented by reduced extracellular calcium, diltiazem, and ryanodine. The calmodulin antagonists trifluoperazine, W-7, and calmidazolium failed to significantly alter PG production in response to forskolin. These results indicate that forskolin-stimulated PG synthesis in rabbit heart is independent of cAMP and requires calcium from both extracellular and intracellular sources.

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